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Volume 416: debated on Tuesday 20 November 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for War why N.A.A.F.I. persists in charging bulk sales to units abroad in English currency, thereby imposing additional expense upon the individual soldier through having to pay in local currency; and will he instruct them to charge their sales in the local currency and to bear such difference in prices out of profits.

The bulk of the supplies are obtained by N.A.A.F.I. for other than local currency. Further, it is desirable that the bulk charges to units should be on a uniform basis. Payment may be made to N.A.A.F.I. either by sterling cheque or by local currency at the official rate of exchange. By this method N.A.A.F.I. on the exchange make no profit and incur no loss. These bulk purchases are resold by the unit at local currency fixed by the latter based on the official rate of exchange at which the soldier is paid.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will consult with other Service Ministries with a view to running N.A.A.F.I. on co-operative lines with representation on national and local committees on a basis proportionate to ranks.

N.A.A.F.I. surpluses are already applied to the benefit of serving men, and men who have served, and I see no reason to change the system. As regards the second part of the question, there is already provision for committees, representative of all ranks, in units and higher formations, whose meetings are attended by the managers of institutes and more senior representatives of N.A.A.F.I. I do not consider that, in present circumstances, direct participation of all ranks in the conduct of this trading organisation is desirable or practicable, but through the medium of these committees the organisation is made constantly aware of the views and requirements of its clients.